Are you looking to create a greener and more sustainable work environment in 2020?
Getting started doesn’t have to be complex. By taking an audit of the small things such as office supplies and making a conscious effort to reduce waste, you’re already one step ahead of the next company.
So, what are some of the biggest waste products coming from offices?
According to the EPA, 139.6 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste went to landfills in 2017. Food waste accounted for 21.9% of this waste. Plastics were second contributing 19.2% and paper and paperboard rubbish at 13.1%.
Paper products account for a large share of office supplies. From envelopes, to thank you notes, to sticky notes, notepads, and Manila file folders, paper is everywhere you look in a typical office. As a company endeavoring to promote an eco-friendly environment, cut back on the unnecessary paper products you buy. Do you really need those sticky notes? Are wall and desktop calendars necessary? Where possible go digital.
Disposable coffee cups
Do you have an in-office coffee machine? Do you routinely buy plastic cups for people to have their coffee? The average office worker in the country uses a staggering 500 disposable coffee cups a year. Multiply this by the number of workers you have and it’s not hard to see how this practice is detrimental to the environment. Encourage employees to bring their own reusable coffee mugs to the office. Not only does this save you money but it reduces the amount of waste going to landfills.
If you have a vending machine that supplies water to your workers it might be time to reconsider what you have stocked up in it. Consider the fact that at least 2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away every hour in the United States alone. That’s unbelievable and unacceptable. By simply asking people to reduce this plastic waste through the use of a reusable mug or water bottle, you’ll have played your part.
Whiteboard markers seem like such a mundane thing to mention on a list of office supplies to avoid, but just as with anything made of plastic, they are part of the problem. Instead of buying new markers each time the old ones run out, why not consider getting refillable options instead. In this way, you’re not constantly adding to the waste being produced by your office.
In an age where biodegradable pens exist, what’s your excuse for not replacing your current collection with these sustainable options? There are pens made of renewable materials that will certainly make your office greener. The average person in the country uses at least 4.3 pens each year. In an office setting this can be more. Do your part as a company by only investing in biodegradable pens and recycled pencils.
Do you regularly ship out products to customers? What does your packaging say about your company? Is it compostable? If not it might be time to reconsider your options. Sit down with your packaging suppliers and explore the different packaging available so that you cut down on waste from the start. Biodegradable packaging, as well as eco-friendly packing tape, exists so there are no excuses where this is concerned.
LokaBee: your partner in green living
LokaBee is a leading online retailer of green products sourced sustainably. We help businesses and individuals get started on the journey to sustainable living. Are you keen to how else you can encourage a greener workplace? Or perhaps some of the benefits involved in becoming more environmentally conscious? We’ve got you covered.
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